Conroe City Council supports Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District appeal

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Entities including the city of Conroe are doubling down on an ongoing conflict surrounding water rates in Montgomery County.

A resolution to oppose the 2010 or 2016 Desired Future Conditions into the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District’s groundwater management plan was unanimously passed by Conroe City Council on July 11. Council Members Duke Coon and Raymond McDonald were absent.

Council members discussed the matter during the July 10 workshop in executive session. The conflict surrounds water rate prices for groundwater and surface water for large users, such as the city of Conroe and other Montgomery County municipalities.

The resolution supports the LSGCD board’s decision to appeal the Texas Water Development Board’s rejection of its district management plan. Part of the district management plan, DFCs are the desired, quantified condition of groundwater resources, such as water levels or spring flows, within a groundwater management area as part of the joint planning process, according to the TWDB.

During public comment, former mayor and LSGCD board member Webb Melder thanked the council for supporting the LSGCD’s appeal.

“You know what we’re dealing with, and what we have inherited is an unprecedented situation,” Melder said. “We’re going to stay committed to getting it fixed, getting it straightened out, … but we have a tough job ahead of us. This resolution is very important to us.”

Mayor Toby Powell thanked Melder for “taking on a chore.”

“I don’t envy you one bit. I’m glad you’re there,” Powell said. “You’ve done a wonderful job.”

Next, Conroe City Administrator Paul Virgadamo will provide copies of the council’s resolution to the LSGCD and the TWDB. Then, the LSGCD board will meet with Conroe council members and staff.

In other July 11 news, council:
– Unanimously approved a proposal to deed 5 acres of surplus city-owned land over to Compassion United church with the intent to develop it to reduce the burdens of homelessness.
– Unanimously approved the purchase of 7.5 acres of land in Grand Central Park to develop a new convention center and hotel in a public-private partnership with Garfield Public/Private.

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Jules Rogers
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Jules Rogers has been covering community journalism and urban trade news since 2014. She moved to Houston in June 2018 to become an editor with Community Impact Newspaper after four years of reporting for various newspapers affiliated with the Portland Tribune in Oregon, including two years at the Portland Business Tribune. Before that, Jules spent time reporting for the Grants Pass Daily Courier in Southern Oregon. Her favorite beats to cover are business, economic development and urban planning.
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